Low impact exercises that pack a serious punch | AspenTimes.com

Low impact exercises that pack a serious punch

Written by Lauren Glendenning For the Aspen Times

This sponsored content is brought to you by Pure Barre Aspen

At Pure Barre, 50-minute classes equate to major results both on and off the mountain

Pure Barre’s Reform class improves flexibility in the muscles and tendons, strengthens core muscles and improves posture. Photos courtesy of Pure Barre Aspen

Perhaps you’ve noticed that your “ski legs” aren’t as conditioned as you thought they were after so many deep powder days this season. In order to have the endurance to enjoy those awesome powder days, working on your fitness off the slopes is essential to your skiing and snowboarding ability, strength and stamina.

Pure Barre’s Empower Cardio class mixes high-intensity intervals and low-impact strengthening. Photos courtesy of Pure Barre Aspen

“Enter Pure Barre. Our workout is intelligently designed to help you improve strength, balance and flexibility, which can mean greater endurance, improved coordination and better balance — all of which are vital for a killer ski season,” said Jordan Bullock, owner of Pure Barre in Aspen.

Thanks to the many benefits of these small, but targeted barre exercises, keeping Pure Barre in the regular rotation of year-round workouts can help outdoor enthusiasts stay strong in everything from biking to biking to tennis to golf. That’s why Aspen locals have consistently voted Pure Barre as one of the best workouts and fitness studios in “Best of Aspen” polls over the years.

Pure Barre class variety

Barre workouts include a ton of variety both within each class, and from class to class. No two barre workouts are ever the same, but the descriptions below can help guide Pure Barre beginners toward the classes that might best meet their workout goals.


Increases your flexibility, which is vital to a fast recovery and staying supple on the slopes. Improves your balance by strengthening your whole body — each muscle group is targeted, fatigued, and strengthened, which means more time spent on the mountain. Facilitates a mind/body connection that is crucial to skiing.


Our cardio-centric class mixes high-intensity intervals and low-impact strength sections, which mimic the demands on your body when you ski. Strengthens each muscle group, as well as your bones, ligaments, and tendons to help with vibration and impact forces.


Improves flexibility in the muscles and tendons, which helps combat the effect of low temperatures when muscles are stiff, slow to react and lack range of movement. Strengthens the core muscles, which are essential for balance, back support, and helping keep your upper body stationary while your legs work. Improves your posture, technique, coordination, and muscle imbalance, which helps prevent injuries.

Bullock wants the community to know that her studio remains open in its original location downtown, at 620 E. Hyman Ave.

“Pure Barre is committed to serving our strong community’s workout needs,” Bullock said.

The Pure Barre workout

Each Pure Barre class is designed to strengthen core muscles and increase balance and flexibility. Bullock said Pure Barre workouts focus on quads hamstrings, glutes, abs and arms, as well as important mind/body connections.

Pure Barre’s Classic class focuses on flexibility, balance and strengthening the whole body. Photos courtesy of Pure Barre Aspen

Classes are 50 minutes and target the entire body with low-impact, isometric movements. Sometimes exercises are done using the ballet barre, and other times you’ll be on a mat using other light equipment.

One thing Pure Barre workouts are known for is the shake. As you complete repetitions of these isometric exercises — small contractions of muscles — it’s common to feel your muscles shake, indicating muscle fatigue. Over time, the shake improves as your body strengthens, making the shaking less intense with each class.

So, while the workout is low-impact, it’s high intensity. The results are long and lean muscle tone without the bulk, according to Pure Barre. Class attire is similar to what you might wear to a yoga class — pants, leggings or capris, and a fitness tank or T-shirt. It’s important to have a pair of sticky socks for class to prevent unwanted sliding, plus it helps keep the studio clean from bare feet.

Pure Barre lingo


A movement that involves contracting the abs back causing the hips to rotate forward to elongate the spine.


A position that is held by engaging the core and bringing the spine to neutral, creating a straight line from the head to the tailbone.


A movement held in its deepest, tightest, lowest position to achieve isometric contraction. May be used with downhold, lifthold, squeezehold, circlehold, etc.


A tiny quiver in the joint followed immediately by an extension and contraction of the muscle being worked.


A downward movement from the lowest point, to the Pure Barre tempo of the music.


A one inch range of movement in a slow, controlled motion. Slightly larger than a pulse, smaller than a full range of motion.


Typically refers to a movement of the knees backward while keeping a heavy tailbone position. The two motions create the opposing forces at work to lean and tone the muscles.


A low impact exercise is one that keeps at least one of your feet on the ground at all times.


Shortened version lift, tone, burn.